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Creating Optimized Content

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Author: Nick Schaub

One of the most important factors in obtaining high rankings in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) is your content and how it implements the keywords your SE campaign is targeting. These are the top elements in having a well written landing page are, in no specific order:

• Keyword Density

• Readability

• Keyword Prominence

• Length

The first two are equally important. Keyword Prominence and length is less important.

If you have not researched your keywords, stop here and do so. Keyword research needs a great deal of attention. I will be writing again to talk about this subject specifically.

KeyWord Density is the most important when it comes to a raw search engine crawl. Calculating Keyword density works something like this:

1. Find the total number of iterations of your keyword phrase in your document. Only include the text between the tags, this includes the headings. Let's say your keyword phrase is, "Real Estate Michigan." The whole term counts as one, which means the iteration of each individual word is worth ~.3. For example, "Take a look at our Lake Michigan Property," has ~.3 keywords when searching for the phrase, "Real Estate Michigan." Also be sure to only count the number of keywords for your specific phrase. You can only calculate Keyword density for one phrase at a time.

2. Take the number of keywords in your content and divide by the total number of words on your page. So you should do some type of calculation like this:

Ex. 5.3 keywords / 285 words = 10% Keyword Density.

So what is the optimal keyword density? That seems to vary widely. These are the recommendations for Google and the websites I find them at:

Keyword Density: SEO Considerations by Wayne Hubert - 2%

Mike's Marketing Tools - 2%-8%

Pefect Keyword Density by Ahmed El-Naggar - 10%

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/16292.htm - 1%-7%

Google Ranking Factors - 5%-20%

After looking through the organic results, most of the #1 sites on Google hover between 2-3%, and this is what I recommend sticking to.

Readability is just as important for two reasons: you want to make content your user can read easily, and you really don't want the search engines to pick up the site as spam. So let's say a site is optimized for "Lakefront Property":

Lakefront property Lakefront Property Lakefront Property by Super Duper Land Company, etc.

No one wants to read that garbage, and search engines don't like to crawl it either. They take one look at it and throw it into the spam-keyword-spewing bin which is very far from top SERPs.

So on top of keyword density, particular attention must be put into how far apart keywords are. I wouldn't put the same keyword in the same sentence, because it would probably sound like spam.

Keyword Prominence is how important the keyword looks on the page. The closer to the top of the page the keyword is the more important the crawler will think it is to your site. So, for example:

Our Michigan Lakefront Property is the most beautiful land…

Will be seen as more prominent, and thus more important than something like

Blah blah blah so come see our Michigan Lakefront Property.

These examples are only a sentence long and are meant to illustrate the position of the keywords as a whole in the content. Try to put as many of your keywords in towards the top of your page as you can, and fewer of the target keywords in the bottom of your content. This way Google will see that you place a lot of importance on your keyword.

Keyword Prominence is also how close your target keywords in your keyword phrase are. If the words "Michigan," "Lakefront," and "Property" are right next to each other, they will be given more weight than if they are split up.

Michigan Lakefront Property

Will have more prominence than

Michigan has absolutely beautiful property on the lakefront

The first one will be given more preference than the second. However, using the same phrase over and over again makes for a boring read, so don't use your entire keyword phrase too often. Split up your phrase and look for ways to put different words in the phrase into your content so that it doesn't destroy the readability without sacrificing search engine ranking.

Length varies from many sites, and is really what ties up all of these other attributes. The average length for pages is 600, which means with a 2% keyword density you should have 12 iterations of your keyword phrase. This 12 iterations is of the "Michigan lakefront property" only. I would personally only use the entire phrase about 5 times or else you might sound like a spammer to a reader. You should have 12 iterations of every keyword in the phrase, unless there's overlap between your keyword phrases like "michigan lakefront property" and "michigan waterfront property." Therefore you would ideally want 12 each of Michigan, lakefront, waterfront, and property.

Another thing you don't want to do is finish a beautiful write-up because and add 200 more just because it's only 400 words long. Don't write bad content, your visitors won't want to read it. Aim for 600 and if you fall short or go over then try to come up with some more useful content. If you can only succeed in adding fluff, don't bother.

About the author:

Nick Schaub is a young college undergrad that does SEO to pay for school.

View their website at: http://seoptimal.blogspot.com/2006/08/creating-optimized-content.html


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